On the eve of the vernal equinox . . .

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 It is the eve of the vernal equinox, and so tomorrow is officially Spring !

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My niece, Miss Nineteen, is on break from college, and so we met at the Calistoga Roastery, then went of course, to the castle…
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I brought something along, the prototype of Golden Fields,  to have a little impromptu photo shoot,  as we always love to do!

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She pulled it off beautifully, as always!

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Golden Fields stole is a very personal creation from my own over-dyed  UnSpun, and of which I’m proud of the epic amount of work that went into it,

(Pattern is here. )
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So happy Spring everybody!

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(( you can see the entire photo slide show by clicking first image in mosaic ))

Aria at the Castle.

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I met my niece . . . Miss Sixteen . . . at the castle yesterday,

so she could model my latest lace collection Aria With Variations.

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She was absolutely spectacular.     I think she has really has mastered what is essential in modeling,  having developed her character that is genuine and honest . . .

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So natural, with a hint of bashful, and a lot of charm.

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Here she is wearing Aria stole, in rose UnSpun 1100, in size 1,

and Variation One stole, in light grey UnSpun 880, in size 2.

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Really there needs to be nothing else said, because she in her lovely way, she says it all!

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( just click first image in mosaic to see the whole slideshow)

All posts in series Veils & Variations.

 

Sweater Success!

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Yesterday I met my nieces in Calistoga at the Roastery, we had a little catching up over coffee & tea, then they put on their new Hillwalker sweaters, and this time we headed straight down to the Castle in St Helena for the photo shoot.  They absolutely shone against the old hand-cut stone in their Autumn sweaters!

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A fabulous time, and the usual stellar results! Oh, and behind the scenes my nieces are now also my assistants as well as my models, doing a great job of stepping in to preen as needed… real professionals!  Click and check out these fun unexpected sneak shots…

Hillwalker pattern is available HERE.

But before you go, click on the first image in the mosaic, and view a much more extensive slide show of the whole photo shoot…

 

Camino Inca Live!

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First day of summer vacation for my nieces & a photo shoot of the most recent  “Camino Inca” designs at the castle, and here they are, Miss Seventeen & Miss Fourteen….

Shown here is the small-size Ponchito, which is more of a large cowl draping around collar area &  sits on top of shoulders for a kiss of warmth.

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And the largest size,  A-line silhouette with three tiers of colorful shaped sections with bobbled bands edging each section.

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It envelopes shoulders & neck for a sensual & cuddly bliss!

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I love the way the Camino Inca Ponchito sits snug across & over shoulders while loose and draping around the neck.

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The ponchito is not unlike Peruvians’ traditional wool shoulder wraps pinned at the neck, and I think the Incans would approve, as it is a practical neck & shoulder garment that both women and men would look & feel brilliant wearing.

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It really pulls together an outfit!

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Oh, and almost forgot… in addition to three sizes of ponchito, there is the straight cowl option that comes with the pattern too…

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Camino Inca Chullo is a classic Peruvian style hat (these with very modest pompoms) and is just fun & full of whimsy !

For any age, male or female, this hat can be made simplified, or exotic & costume-like, with motif charts & embellishment suggestions galore.

 

You can see all posts relating to Camino Inca design and the inspiration behind it, (including this one) HERE.

Details for Camino Inca Ponchito on Ravelry HERE,

and Camino Inca Chullo HERE.

Sweater Success !

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Another sweater success!   However we rather fell out of tradition this time not photographing  in Calistoga , but yet again at the castle which is my niece’s favorite photo place.  Few words this post , but I promise to be more talkative of details about the cardigan when pattern is ready, and it is forthcoming shortly!

All Sweater Successes Past & Present

Ravelry project details  here,  and   here.

Highway 29 & Pattern !

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My latest design “Highway 29” is named after the  main road running through Napa Valley from Napa to Calistoga. This old highway is dotted with wineries and famous restaurants enough to make you dizzy, plus some added hot-spots where we locals trek to frequently, beginning in the north end of the town of Napa getting sweet around Yountville, then Oakville, Rutherford, St Helena, and continuing clear on up to Calistoga.  As a local, coming down off the mountain from Oakville Grade when I am going upvalley, I often stop at the very unique Oakville Grocery , founded in 1881, just an old rural ‘backroads’ grocers of a bygone era,  is now a highly trafficked stop-off for locals & tourists alike, with an exceptional coffee bar & deli for drinks, gifts & goodies-to-go.  Until recently it doubled as the local post office, now it offers…. um…. wine tasting

I believe my nieces and I were talking about Oakville Grocery & Post being the inspiration of forthcoming Autumn design, and second in the Napa Valley Collection.

After Oakville you pass a bunch of wineries, and then of course, St Helena where I often knit-in-public or meet friends at  Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, as its the coffee shops I seem to be most familiar with, loving to knit and visit with friends.  After that it’s a stretch of countryside to Calistoga with places such as Bale Grist Mill, founded in 1846…

a working renovated grain mill which is popular for historic reenactment parties and has old-time live music often (one of the bands is my brother & sister-in-law, my nieces dad & mom) , offers tours & grinds corn to sell. It is in front of the entrance to the Bale Grist Mill where these photos were taken for Highway Halter, on the old wooden fence,

The favorite photo spot in recent couple of years for my nieces is Castello Di Amorosa, a medieval Tuscan castle transplanted stone-by-stone in recent decades…

Ah, but it is  here at ‘ The Castle ‘ where you’ll recognize the stone from merely the carriage house where we actually have many of our photo shoots…

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Right off of Hwy 29, this carriage house is at the entrance to the castle gate, erected more recently I think to use some left over stone & brick perhaps, and it houses the ground-keepers tools & provides a place for the chauffeurs to park, and I think some offices devoted to castle business. Here some shots from this spot…

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Passing more breathtaking scenery, one finally lands in Calistoga as if by accident.

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This is the town from which you may recognize many backdrops to my nieces & my photo shoots.  For example, the left on above photo is Brannans Restaurant,  and right across Lincoln Street is the mint-green bank building we have included many times…

But there are many photo memories of Calistoga and not enough room to post. Anyway, enough of all  of this Highway 29 – turned to- Memory Lane,  and all the treasures found along the way… and now it is time for Highway 29 Halter which I’ve just written a pattern for, and which my nieces do real justice to !     In previous post I talk about the significance of naming the latest design “Highway 29” ,   which really is a possibility to start a collection…. I mean, if I’m going to really go through with it… anyway, my nieces  seem to think we should.  If not the name-sake for the design will stand on its own. We will just have to see what comes.

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You can find the pattern for this design on Ravelry HERE .

… or click the Hwy 29 road sign to arrive at the pattern page.

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California Highway 29 road sign in Napa Valley

Sweater Success !

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Spring sweater success!

We decided to photograph not in the town of Calistoga this time, but again at the castle.
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Late morning brought very bright sun and was very warm after weeks of cool rainy days.
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Oh, and great news is that my knitted tees seem to fit my nieces with absolute perfection!
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030.JPGThis year’s Spring Tee was not a new design, but a fun redesign for ‘four seasons of necklines’  option for my Calidez pullover pattern. Both made in size 32 with short sleeve  option, alternate style of yoke decrease, 2×2 rib, and knit with worsted-weight ( Malabrigo Rios) , using the gauge substitution chart included in the pattern.  I must say, I rather impressed myself once I saw the short-row low swooping necks become three dimensional!

Miss Thirteen has gained inches in height still again,  and now there’s no denying she is taller than Miss Sixteen.
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All in all, a perfect day for ‘capturing of photographical images’ with some really nice knitwear, made with custom favorite colors for my two wonderful nieces…

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Time goes swiftly,  and I’ll enjoy a short rest before coming up with plans for the next equinox sweater~~ but folks, this is just as good as it gets!
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To see all equinox sweaters over the last six years, click  HERE

Project details on Ravelry  HERE  and  HERE

 

Tartan & Tweed Tam: The Pattern

jenjoycedesign©Tartan & Tweed Tams

Well folks, the pattern has been submitted,

and I am happy to finally show you the bunch of lovely photographs taken last month at our castle, modeling the design.

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This tam design is a little different, looking a little like a tweed cloth cap but also like a conventional tam.  Personally I think I’ve finally found my best-yet tam shape, and am excited to run with it.

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 Oh, and there are options in yarn weights, and well,

how could I not include a straight-sided toque option?

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I really think this tam is my best yet, and I hope you knit it !

Available for download w/ details on pattern page HERE & on Ravelry HERE

(matching Mitts pattern HERE)

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Our Castle

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We discovered a castle !

That is, part of a castle, more the entrance of the castle.  A gothic brick & stone building at the gate of the Castello di Amorosa.

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Which was actually quite perfect, for nobody was about and we could just be creative with the knitwear. . .

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041jenjoycedesign©una cosettinaWe did actually drive up to the castle, but there were hundreds of people swarming about, and that was less than ideal for photographing. But we did get a shot of Miss Fifteen standing through the sky window of my car, with the castle in the background …
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It was a GREAT discovering this new favorite photo place, all three of us were very taken by the gothic feel of iron & brick & stone & arched windows, and all agreed it should be the new design image for us.  Modelled in photos are holiday & birthday presents from me; a pair of Una Cosettina mitts and accompanying infinity scarves “Una Cosettina Sciarpa Infinita”  which is all upcoming… we just had to give ‘er a test run here at the castle today !

Here are a few more of the shots…

 

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